June 24th, 2020

Curator Paige Lilly leads a walking tour around Castine.Castine: The Castine Historical Society is offering residents and visitors to this quintessential Maine coastal village a new way of learning about Castine’s multi-layered history. Starting July 8, the staff and volunteers of the Historical Society will offer Castine Uncovered Walking Tours, a fun, informative, outdoor learning experience.

After careful deliberation, the Castine Historical Society has chosen not to open the exhibits this season. Instead, the Historical Society is excited to expand the walking tours of historic Castine, a signature program of the Historical Society for many years.

The free hour-long walking tours will be offered from July 8 – September 6, Wednesday – Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. From September 9 – October 11, tours will be offered Wednesday – Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. While the tours are free, donations will be gladly accepted. No public restrooms will be available during the walking tour, however, restrooms are available at the Castine Town Docks.

To promote a safe experience for everyone, tours will be limited to ten people and everyone including the tour guide will be required to wear face coverings. The guide will have an amplification system to allow the group to easily hear the tour, which begins and ends in front of the Castine Historical Society’s Abbott School Building at 17 School Street.

For those unable to make the scheduled tour times, private tours can be arranged with 48 hours notice subject to guide availability. Those with mobility concerns are encouraged to book an outdoor seated tour on the Castine Town Common.

On rainy days in lieu of the scheduled tour, the staff will offer a 45-minute illustrated talk on Castine’s maritime history in the Mitchell Room of the Abbott School. These talks are scheduled at the same time as the walking tours and will be limited to ten people. Masks will be required and seating will be set up for social distancing.

Castine is ideally suited to historic walking tours as the community’s history is still visible around every corner. From its beginnings as Wabanaki homeland before the Plymouth Bay Colony established their 1626 trading post up to its role today as a training center for the coast guard and merchant marines at Maine Maritime Academy, Castine has had a distinctive history. Tour stops will range from the beautifully preserved Town Common, to the 19th century maritime Customhouse for the Penobscot District, to the home of America’s great poet Robert Lowell and his wife, the writer Elizabeth Hardwick.

The Castine Historical Society seeks to invigorate Castine through collaborative exploration and stewardship of our region’s rich history, engaging residents and visitors of all ages in Castine’s extraordinary past and, through it, that of New England and North America. The Historical Society’s Abbott School that features the exhibit gallery, gift shop, and a community meeting space at 17 School Street, Castine will be closed for the 2020 season. The Grindle House offices and research library at 13 School Street are open year-round and researchers are welcome by prior appointment. For further information on the History Walking Tours, the Castine Historical Society, or the online gift shop visit www.castinehistoricalsociety.org or call 207-326-4118.